Portuguese town to open Jewish history museum

The Portuguese town of Moimenta da Beira said it would open a Jewish history museum in one of its oldest and best-known buildings, the Casa de Moimenta, also known as Casa do Carrasco.

As in other towns in Portugal that once had large Jewish communities, the Jews of Moimenta da Beira felt confident enough to advertise their Jewish identity even after they were forced by law to convert to Christianity. The town has no Jewish residents today.

Some forcibly converted Jews carved into the exterior walls of the homes marks that read “horror” in Hebrew when read inversely. Others chipped off from the stone door frames of their homes the section to which a mezuzah would have been affixed.

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